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(Archive) Eise x Pleed

Rediscovering Blue. Woad handbook

This project was part of DDW 2021
met wede geverfde wol | woad dyed wool — © Pleed

The blue colour of our clothing is produced chemically, and generally in places far from home. So, it was a logical step for Pleed to see if it was possible to dye our local wool blue with local dye ingredients. We were helped by the 18th-century recipes of a Frisian master wool comber, Eise Eisinga

Woad and wool community

Our new woad & wool community handbook is the result of research by our local Pleed community. Woad seeds were sent out to whoever wanted to accompany us on the journey. People grew woad in their back gardens and we experimented with the woad dye recipes in Eise Eisinga’s diaries of 1808 and using local sustainable ingredients.

Unique blue colour

We were delighted to rediscover a unique blue colour that had been common all over Europe for centuries, but which had disappeared when the more popular indigo took over. The first time we saw how the wool from the dye vat magically changed colour from yellow to the unique woad blue, when exposed to open air, it was a totally mesmerising experience.

Grow | dye | repeat

As a result, the Eise x Pleed Woad Handbook describes all the stages necessary to grow woad and dye yarn. We are happy to share our tips and tricks with you and hope to inspire you to get to work.

Eise X Pleed wede handboek | woad handbook — © Pleed

wede veld in Fryslân | woad field in Friesland — © Pleed

Eisinga's verf recept | Eisinga's dye recipe — © Pleed

Eise X Pleed wede kuip | woad vat